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Bulk and clay mineral composition indicate origin of terra rossa soils in Western Herzegovina

Goran Durn ; Faculty of mining, geology and petroleum engineering, University of Zagreb
Radica Ćorić
Neven Tadej
Uroš Barudžija
Vedran Rubinić
Stjepan Husnjak ; University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, Svetošimunska 25, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: engleski PDF 4.880 Kb

str. 171-183

preuzimanja: 951



The B horizons of terra rossa soils developed on three different carbonate lithologies having variable insoluble residue contents were studied in Western Herzegovina. Comparison of  their composition and properties illustrates to what extent mineral (especially clay mineral assemblage) and particle size composition of those horizons and the insoluble residue of the underlying carbonate rocks can be used as indicators of the polygenetic nature of terra rossa in this region. Terra rossa B horizons have characteristic red colours, neutral to slightly acid pH, high base saturation with calcium as the predominant cation and high CIA (Chemical Index of Alteration). The CIA values obtained are generally in accordance with mineral composition and particle size distribution of the analysed B horizons.  The predominant clay mineral phases in B horizons and related insoluble residues match. Kaolinite is the predominant clay mineral phase in the B horizons overlying carbonate rocks containing low amounts of insoluble residue, while smectite predominates in calcarenites areas with a high insoluble residue content.  However, the presence of plagioclase, gibbsite, chlorite-vermiculite mixed layer mineral and vermiculite in B horizons overlying carbonate rocks containing low amounts of insoluble residue support a polygenetic origin for the terra rossa. In contrast, terra rossa formed on calcarenites containing high amounts of insoluble residue might have formed almost exclusively from the parent carbonate rock although some influence of external materials (e.g. gibbsite) cannot be excluded. This investigation shows that in Western Herzegovina, an area with no important aeolian input, the content and mineral composition of carbonate rock insoluble residue plays a major role in terra rossa composition.  We can tentatively conclude that the lower the insoluble residue content of the parent materials, the greater is the expectation of a more polygenetic origin for the terra rossa.

Ključne riječi

terra rossa; B horizons; parent materials; (clay) mineralogy; Western Herzegovina

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